Maybe we’re going too far with media reports and discussions on an imminent coup. Examining how the statements and actions leading to the coup rumours were very much inconspicuous, I can’t help but wonder why we are doing this to ourselves.
It all started on Tuesday, May 16, when the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Tukur Buratai, in a statement issued through the army spokesperson, Brigadier General Sani Usman, said, “This is to inform the public that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Nigerian Army, has received information that some individuals have been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons. On the basis of that, he has warned such persons to desist from these acts”.
While we were still lost in the thoughts of what he meant by “undisclosed political reasons”; the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Ark Wright, also made a statement that also sparked further postulations.
“The British government believes that democracy is actually critical in Nigeria. There are elections. If you’re not happy with your leaders then you should change your leadership through the democratic process and through elections,” the diplomat said.
And then, the media took over from there. “Coup” was introduced into every event or statement that had to do with the armed forces, and the military leaders, in turn, kept mum over the matter.
This prompted the former presidential candidate of the UPP, Chekwas Okorie, to say that the chief of army staff, Buratai must make a public warning against any such issue in the country.
“I am disturbed by the Chief of Army Staff’s warning because I listened to Voice of America (VOA) and its report was more elaborate than what was reported by the local media,” he said.
The presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, has however tried to calm our frayed nerves. Adesina, who spoke in Abuja in Tuesday, said the Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, was only doing a military routine when he warned army officers to stop parleying with politicians.
“Let’s take that position and not stretch it beyond what the military has said because they are the ones that can give us the definitive position and they have spoken on it,” he said.
Let’s hope this advice will reduce speculations on the matter and help us to move to other matters of national importance, like the 2017 budget.